tv [untitled] March 11, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PST
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>> mayor for the city and county of san francisco. >> tonight, san francisco has a new interim mayor. >> a few minutes ago, city administrator now interim mayor ed lee, emerged happy but humble. >> in 2011, a temporary or interim mayor was selected by the board of supervisors, what is an interim mayor?
why do we need one? is it the mayor's supposed to be elected by san francisco voters? how did this happen? let's rewind the story a little and look at the people and complicated process that led to this historic transition. the last time san francisco had an interim mayor was 30 years ago, when, in 1978, george mosconi, was assassinated by supervisor dan white. >> both to grow rather mosconi and harvey milk have been shot and killed. >> they needed a new mayor at the time. the board got together and appointed dianne feinstein. >> we did not have much to go on and looked at 1978. there were no hints as to who put it on the board, if any discussion occurred about a process. >> what triggered san francisco's search over 30 years
later was gavin newsom's election to the office of lieutenant governor. >> i put myself up as a candidate for the tenant governor, won, thanks to the overwhelming support of the city. >> that is when we try to look for someone to take over his final year of the mayoral term. >> it is clear we have to do something in san francisco. we have to pick a mayor. that job was not up to the voters but the board of supervisors. by a majority vote, supervisors are able to choose the interim mayor. that is when the fun began in city hall. who would he be? >> we needed to protect -- perfect the process so that once the board asked us for that process, we could actually have something in place that was well tested that we could provide to them. >> mayor newsom would be sworn in as lieutenant governor in
early january. so the board of supervisors had barely two months after the november election to select an interim mayor to complete gavin newsom's term. but how would the board do this? san francisco's charter guided -- offered little guidance. >> although it was obvious we would appoint an interim mayor, there was no time line for the two to occur. we looked to outside counsel for answers. they researched those questions. while they researched the legal angle, we began the research on the parliamentary level. at the beginning of the calendar year 2010, we started to craft a generic process for a successor for mayor. being a parliamentarian of the board, i have been working on
the process itself. i have been working with two one and parliamentarians in the city. we did some role-playing and tried to contemplate all of the different variables that the board would encounter in appointing a successor mayor. >> the first time i became aware of the process as when my editor and myself asked us how the process would work. we quickly became tongue tied and did not have an answer. you went to the clerk of the board of supervisors to ask, the difference supervisors, the city attorney's office how it would work, and no one really had the rule book on it, so they had to figure it out. >> just seven days after gavin newsom was elected to the office of lieutenant governor, on the member 9, the board of supervisors began to grapple with the responsibility of choosing an interim mayor.
>> colleagues, i am concerned about the transition to successor mayor, in term mayor, for the city in -- and county of san francisco. we need a collaborative process. the earlier we get started, the better. >> with all these are the questions about procedures, there was an extra twist. the city office recused his office. >> the city administrator recused himself from the beginning. he is running for mayor himself, so he did not want to have any ideas of conflict of interest. santa clara county will be providing information to the board of supervisors on how they can proceed. the board met again on the clinic to revisit the issue. >> it is my understanding there are at least four authorities that could potentially govern the process we are talking about. it is incumbent upon us that we
have a process that is consistent with all of those things. >> on the member 16, you saw the board of supervisors direct me as the clerk to create a process that the board could utilize to nominate, select, and appoint a successor mayor. >> usually, when the board rules are silent, the role of order is the controlling parliamentary authority. so my recommendation is that the sports that have a process, received a draft, and then make modifications to it as you see fit. >> how do you start the voting, when does a supervisor have to leave a room if he or she is nominated? at what promises to you begin taking nominations? >> what is not formal this town that is manifested, the details of it. it is a challenge. the last time we did this on when mayor feinstein became mayor -- supervisor feinstein
became mayor, under difficult to infanta's. in this case, we had more for morning. we have the ability to come up with a deliberate process. >> we knew almost immediately it would be a challenge. the charter does not have time frames associated with how long the board president could be the acting mayor, nor how long the board could wait for them to appoint a successor bayer. that was compounded by some questions that surfaced around multiple board nominations, whether or not they could participate in the process. it was not until an outside counsel was retained that some of those answers were provided, that a board member could not nominate themselves, that they could not participate in the process, if neighbor interested in being nominated to be the successor mayor. >> san francisco citizens never
had a loss of opinion during the public comments. several suggested the more experienced board to make this election, rather than the new board in january. >> there are two problems with the new board coming on. one is the experience level, but more importantly, there is a part of me that believe you should already know your password and e-mail address before you get to hear. that is the reality of it. >> the board saw this as a golden opportunity to select a progressive mayor. >> for progressives, this was the mother of all great opportunities. they have been chomping at the bit to be in room 204 years. the city generally votes more moderately on the whole. >> there is one in term mayor from the progressive side to make sure in the next year, it will be a progressive mayor with a progressive majority board.
then maybe in the election, they can have another elected progressive mayor. >> another issue was to consider selecting a caretaker mayor. several may run in november and preferred that the interim mayor be a caretaker. >> the board of supervisors should respect the people's current choice, which was extended a few years ago, and at least have a caretaker that is awful, judicious, fair minded, -- they do not have to agree on anything -- everything -- but they will not play the kinds of political politics that one might play. >> that would really get the hornets' nest stirred up between the mayor and board of supervisors. if you are incumbent mayor and you decide to run for office, you have a leg up. some say, that is not fair. how about david chu, who is
considering running for mayor, giving him nine months in office before he becomes mayor? you have people like bevan dufty, david chiu, even john avalon's common john campos, and ross mirkarimi, all had indicated an interest. so you have people on the board who want to run for mayor. do they go for the caretaker mayor, or do they put those interests aside and best themselves with a politician that has a good chance of being elected? with that dilemma in front of them, we saw what happened. they could not put their egos aside. they generally would with the caretaker mayor. that person would pose no threat of running against them. >> when the board met next week on november 23, the clerk of the board proposed a process for nomination for mayor, which the board debated, amended, and eventually passed. >> a board member read the
nominated may not produce pig in the discussion or vote on the competitor nominees. if the nominee of a board member nominee has been withdrawn, the board member may no longer have a conflict and could return to the room and to dissipate. >> basically, a process that i am proposing is one in which, one, would maximize per dissipation. members of the board of supervisors. it would in franchise as many of our individual electors as possible in the decision making. >> this vote we will be taking is without question the most important vote we will cast as members of the board of supervisors. >> alioto-pier, there are 11 ayes. this motion is approved as amended. >> there was a lot of ambiguity run the process. to have the board to settle on a process felt really good, that we had to tackle that part of it. >> if you are a supervisor, you
cannot vote for yourself. if you are nominated for that office, you cannot participate in the discussions, so you have to leave the room. you cannot text people, you cannot get on facebook. you can watch the process in your office, but you cannot let anyone know what your thinking or doing. the most you can say is i accept the nomination, and then leave. if you do not accept the nomination, and you can participate, and then you will be out of the process for consideration. >> with the process agreed upon, board member chris daly call for nominations to begin. >> could we please at least spend a moment talking about what we would like to see in the next mayor of san francisco. >> were but board members retired and the item continued until after the thanksgiving holiday. >> to continue with my shakespeare aim, it is cold and
i am sick of heart. i would like to continue this discussion to the next time we meet. >> chris daly was tried to push this early on, let's get someone in their early on. there was pressure to get someone from the left tube lined up the vote. was it going to be a tom ammiano, david campos, an arin peskin, a former supervisor? >> but then mayor newsom said that he may delay his wearing him that as a lieutenant governors for a week. then the border supervisors, the modern new board with let the mayor. >> the question is when i do that. i have no charter obligations to do that. my term does not expire for another year-plus. so i have to resign first before a new mayor can take that oath of office. i have a role to play, even
though the board of supervisors is the official who. >> mayor newsom, infuriatingly, frankly, kept his cards close to the best until the last moment. people did not know if he was going to stay in office to allow the new board to vote, people did not know if he was going to go to sacramento early. >> the key to this whole process that the board of supervisors cannot appoint an interim mayor until the office is actually vacant. he did not want to be the necessarily to the sport of supervisors, which were his political adversaries for so many years. >> anything can happen at the board of supervisors. as long as they publicly notice it, they could call a meeting every day until january 3. >> meanwhile, several names were mentioned as potential candidates to be interim mayor. >> it was fascinating to watch the trial balloon go up.
people's name would be floated for a week. there was a flavor of the week. david campos. former mayor art agnos was floated as a potential in term mayor. so was sheriff mike hennessey. so was the chair of the public utilities commission. current state senator mark lino. current senator leland yee. >> there were reports in the newspaper about various board members being nominated. we were concerned about how the conflict of interest laws would apply to them. very specifically for foreign issues. perhaps there would be six board members who would be not able to bridge as a paid in a successor mayor selection and appointment process. we would lose quorum. we have to contemplate how we would then bring back quorum. i went to bed every night with it on my mind. i woke up with every morning.
>> time was running out. there were no more meetings scheduled in november due to the holidays, and the board did not meet again until december 7. san francisco citizens again waited on the mayoral selection. >> we want someone who has the greater good of the people of san francisco in mind, not just business owners. >> i am here today basically to urge you to select an interim mayor who will prioritize our nonprofit sector coming here in san francisco. >> supervisor daly once again called for a discussion of mayoral character polities and possible nominations. >> it would be a good idea to try this mechanism out and see how it works. >> the daily would again be disappointed. supervisor maxwell motion for the question to be tabled until next week. >> the motion to continue passes.
>> they did not want to push the envelope and vote until they had it in the bag, and no one was able to get all that in the bag, so without that, people were afraid to take the vote. if he took it and your friend was not picked, and of story. >> for maxwell bought determination to delay the voting, one thing she wanted to do was to make sure she could find a consensus candidate. >> the next week in december, the board met again for the last in the meeting of the board. still without a mayor selected or even nominations made. time was running out on the current board, but december 14 seemed like a rerun of december 7, with supervisor maxwell again making a motion to continue to the last board meeting in early january. >> colleagues, i ask that we continue this item. i think we have three weeks to have somebody floating out there for that amount of time is not
going to be to our best interest. it will give us an opportunity to really think about, in the next few weeks, what is ahead of us. it allows the board to step back and take a breath and wait this heavy decision that we were just about ready to make. >> there was no one lined up. that was one of the most fascinating and frustrating things about the process. no one knew what was going to happen. everyone was asking. it was amazing. do you know what is going on, do you know who has the upper hand? >> after the holidays, and jerry brown was sworn in as cal.'s next governor. but the tenant gov. elect gavin newsom played his delight card and was not sworn in. some saw humor in in his
delight. >> i am proud, from your the tenant governorship, if and when it begins -- >> others disagreed with the decision. i think he should have been sworn in on monday. that seems to be in the spirit of the state of constitution of california. >> the next day, the board had one last chance to nominate their twice for interim mayor on january 4. >> when the board finally got around to actually nominating people for, and taking up the issue of inter mayorship, the first thing people should know is it was late at night. the board really put this off as light as they could. people were tired and cranky. that is the first thing people should know about this meeting. >> they said they would take nominations according to who was on the roster first. so it became a game of jeopardy where the question was, who
could press the button first? then it became this sort of strategy. >> having run out of time, board members began the first round of nominations. >> i would nominate former mayor art agnos. >> current city administrator ed lee. >> everyone is expecting hennessey to have the sixth vote. >> i would like to request a 20- minute recess. >> perhaps an explanation? >> i would like a recess. that is my explanation. >> colleague, can do that without objection? >> he took sophie maxwell and they started walking down the hall, across the hall to room 200, the mayor's office. when it came down to it, bevan dufty said, after talking to the
mayor, newsom made an argument as to why edwin lee should have the job. >> supervisor daly, having witnessed several progressives vote for a moderate saw the progress of dreams away. >> we ostensibly had a majority on the board of supervisors. we had an opportunity and we made the biggest fumble in san francisco political history. >> once it became clear that ed lee had the votes to win, nobody wanted to pull the trigger. so they stopped the meeting -- at midnight -- and decided to have another meeting that friday. at the end of the day, so many people had been put up for consideration, and here is the one person that had not and he ends up being the person who the board ends up with. that is a huge shock. >> when the board finally made their appointment, i was joyful because i thought it would be much more difficult.
>> supervisors avalos and, thus ask that the meeting be recessed until friday to allow for a meeting with ed lee. >> i have not had a chance to talk to ed lee, any more than him, to my office and telling me that he was not interested in doing it. that was my last conversation with him. ed lee is currently in china. i would like to see if i can have a conversation with him before we make any kind of determination. >> the current board had run its term. they return for one last meeting to begin -- finish what they began on tuesday, nominating ed lee. >> i will support mr. lee. >> it is for those reasons i will be supporting mr. lee's nomination. the reason why i wholeheartedly support ed lee is because he is a qualified person and he is the right person to lead san francisco. >> we have engaged in an orderly
transition of leadership. this is what separates us, as a democratic society, from other less democratic societies. and i am so proud of us for what we are about to do today. so with that, colleagues, thank you for being part of this historic moment. >> the supervisor campos? there are 10 ayes, one no. [applause] >> the motion for edwin lee passes. [applause] >> you are talking to one of the happiest people in san francisco. this was an extraordinary an historic vote. but it was symbolic. remember, the new board of supervisors who convenes tomorrow will make the actual decision on who the next mayor will be. >> everybody came down to ed lee
with the expectation that it will be done in the most intellectually honest way and in a way that role and order is respected. i think we discussed a few nominations and came down to this one by a common denominator. >> i had a sense of urgency because i did not want to see anyone being acting mayor in the presence of the board of supervisors. that is not the kind of transition i talked about. we need to have a transition -- legislative branch separate from the executive branch of san francisco. that is the best way to do our work. people would not like the situation of having an acting mayor and president of the board of supervisors. >> now the dominoes in this
chain of political events were falling day-by-day. the next day, january 8, new board members were sworn in. >> congratulations. [applause] >> and on monday, gavin newsom was finally sworn in as lieutenant governor of california. >> the duties upon which i am about to enter. [applause] >> the very next day, january 11, the new board of supervisors met for the first time, with the historic first decision of their new term. >> item 3 is a motion to ratify the appointment of a successor mayor due to the occurrence of a vacancy in the offense of a mayor expiring january 8, 2012. >> i am hoping for is, as we look forward to the confirmation
of mr. lee, that we will also, leaving behind the kind of tactics that were used last week, that i thought really made the process feel more clumsy than it should have been. >> this is ed lee's day. i have said a lot about my perspective of this man who comes from the community, who is rooted in our community, who has a tremendous breath and death of city experience. colleagues, at this time, i hope and ask that we unanimously vote for ed lee to be our next mayor. >> supervisor campos? president to? supervisor chu? supervisor colon? supervisor elsbernd? there are 11 ayes. the motion is approved a [applause] .
>> colleagues, i am going to move that we recessed the meeting and we conduct the swearing in ceremony of the new mayor in the rotunda of city hall. [applause] >> so ended one of the greatest challenges the board of supervisors has ever faced, resulting in the first interim mayor in san francisco in 32 years. >> we had a real sense of belief when the full board made the final appointment to successor mayor. we thought there were some and gaps in our knowledge about how to appoint a successor mayor. by the time it was actually done, it seemed almost easy, but it was not, to be honest. we had planned for different types of variables to occur, and none of that actually happened. no conflict of interest laws came into play, no inquiry issues.
>> i thought they did a good job, actually, trying to figure out something that had very little precedent in our city's history, something that was very important. >> angela and her staff did an extremely professional job. she was on the hot seat, under a tremendous amount of pressure. i did not see a lot of the back room arm-twisting, hair pulling, chest pounding that was going on, the pressure she was under, but when she walked out into the board chamber, when she walked into the hallway and the reporters were chasing after her, she was precise and professional. >> in the end, there were some questions about the charter of san francisco. >> our charter spells out a formal process, but lee is pretty silent on that application process. >> this has happened in 32 years, but i think we need some better certainty on how we deal with this decision of